Friday, 30 March 2012

Chester FC v Whitby Town - Match Predictor

Chester will seek to extend their winning streak to seven games tomorrow as they welcome Whitby Town to the Exacta Stadium.

Following the latest victory over North Ferriby United, speculation is rife as to when Chester will actually lay their hands on the league title.

The debate has polled highly on the twice-monthly List Of Inane Things Chester Fans Get Their Pants In A Twist About, with a greater score than even such classics as "Wes Baynes – did he mean it?", "we'd better all get a vote on next season's socks", "Elton Welsby" and "Actually, looking back, Terry Smith was quite funny, wasn't he?"

"We could finally secure the title at any number of venues - it could be Stocksbridge, Chorley, NORTHWICH...,” shrieked The CFU member Ronnie Calypso, who admits that in the meantime he is putting the existence of his wife and children "to one side".

Other fans have suffered with migraines, trying to mathematically predict the exact date of Chester's increasingly inevitable triumph.  There have been several reports of Blues fans attempting to guess upcoming results in matches involving teams they've seen play on a maximum of two occasions before collapsing with a searing headache brought on by a combination of the intense algorithms involved and the realisation that there are just more important things in life.

"Look!" exclaimed Hoole-based fan Gary Pilchard, 29-year-old season ticket clutcher and crashing bore.  "If these few teams - all of whom are having a pretty decent season form-wise, as evidenced by their being in the top five of the table - if ALL of them lose their next two games, right, we could win the league this week!"

"I suppose trying to work out when it might happen won't make it come around any quicker," sighed E Block dweller Henry Fishoil. "I was always like this as a kid. I remember every Christmas, I would try to estimate the exact time at which Santa would come down the chimney, when all the time I should have just been enjoying the spectacle rather than indulging in tedious maths."

"I did manage to correctly predict Santa as turning up at precisely 1.32am in 1972 though - who was laughing then?"

The Jestrian's own predictions and calculations suggest that Chester will secure the title by picking up enough points to ensure that no-one else can score more than them.  You're welcome.

Club officials have remained calm under all the hype, with Blues CEO The Pet Husky conjuring a wry smile before exclaiming "Who cares, it's in the bag anyway – get yourself into the Rugby League instead."

Some of Chester's more worrisome followers have urged caution on title talk, reminding fellow supporters of the traumatic Garforth scenario last season, even though we are 11 points clear with seven games left, for goodness' sake. These fans have been grating on everyone all season by pouring scorn on the situation whenever Chester have taken a two goal lead, reminding anyone who will listen about that one game where we conceded two late goals to Witton, before zipping it when reminded that we still won that one anyway.

There are probably lots of really interesting things to say about Whitby Town, but you've got Google - you go and find them.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Player out of Focus - John Gann

Chester yesterday confirmed the signing of goalkeeper John Gann. The former Rhyl man has been brought in to replace the departed Adam Judge, and Neil Young is hoping Gann will adapt to the Judge role seamlessly.

"We've basically signed him to help Glenno warm up and join in with our weekly second half Backstreet Boys sing-a-long on the bench, if we're short," confirms Young. "Obviously, if there's any danger of him getting a game, we'll bring someone else in. Nothing against Ganny, we just need to fill the gap left by Adam."

"Me and the Garys have had it goin' on for a while, and Mike Powell's chipped in recently, which is why he's not been getting much pitch-time," said Young of the sing-a-long.

"It's not that I Want It That Way but he says he's more than happy to Quit Playing Games if it means he gets to sing with us.  Some of the other players Get Down about it, cos they see the fun we're having and they wanna be involved, but they just don't have the voice to be our fifth member.  Gann, though, I think he could be The One."

The keeper himself admits that he's not done any research, and only discovered Chester's league position after asking former team mate George Horan at his first training session.

“I actually don’t really care. It’s not like I’m going to be playing, or even be here next season” says Gann.

“I’ve only come because I still owe Youngy some petrol money from when we were at Rhyl together. He’s like an elephant that man - never forgets.”

Gann quickly clarifies that his comment was not meant literally, concerned that he may be quoted out of context after hearing recent reports of Young’s rage after he was compared to a bull.

A quick Google search turns up absolutely nothing about Chester's new stopper, and Gann himself has trouble when we ask him to pick himself out of an identity parade.

"Hobbies? No, I'm not sure," he answers unhelpfully as we press for more information about the new glove-warmer. "Oh, I'm thirty... I think. Is that any good?"

It's not any good.

As well as Horan, Gann has also played alongside former Chester FC boys Mark Connolly and Carl Ruffer and says he has heard nothing but good things about the club.

"Apparently it's a great set up. I'm particularly excited about the graffiti on the Harry Mac, the potholes in the car park, Colin Murray's occasional appearances, Elton Welsby and joining in on Big Lupus's garden centre jaunts."

"Oh, and the David Soul nights!" continues an excited but mistaken Gann. "I loved Starsky and Hutch."


John Gann is available in all good retail stores.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

North Ferriby United vs Chester FC - Match Grill

Chester overcame North Ferriby last night in a game so stop/start that its clutch wore out somewhere around the seventy minute mark.

Retracing their steps from the pre-Christmas FA Trophy trip to the outskirts of Hull, the Blues were looking to build on their 11-1 aggregate scoreline for the season against The Villagers, Neil Young rewarding Michael Wilde for his weekend red card with a return to the starting XI.

"I like to lead by example and Wildey was the only one who really turned up for me on Saturday", admitted the gaffer.

Chris Simm belatedly got involved in Sport Relief, making a valiant attempt to break the record for most offsides in a single game - an impossible ask, as any Chester fan who saw Michael Branch play can attest.

It was left to George Horan to draw first blood with a typically clambersome header, ticking North Ferriby off his list of 'Footballing Outposts to Score Midweek Goals At' in the process.  "One at Kendal next week and it'll have been a good season", enthused the skipper.

The second goal came courtesy of Michael Wilde, his second in as many games hopefully putting to bed the suggestion that he can't hack it at this level - an opinion put forward by Blues fans who like to think they have a unique insight into football but who, when pressed, probably couldn't even correctly identify a foul throw.

Late in the game, Chris Simm strayed onside to claim Chester's third and final goal, so blatantly stealing the credit off of Robbie Booth that he now faces 18 months in prison for theft.

It could have been more for the Blues.  Christian Smith netted his customary disallowed goal, whilst Wilde broke beyond the Ferriby defence only to see his progress thwarted by a ball that had been kicked back into the stadium from outside.

Manager Neil Young was incensed by the referee's handling of the latter situation, but showed that he had learnt his lesson from his dismissal on Saturday by entering the field of play to remonstrate angrily with the official.

Cooled down after the game, Young conceded that he had been quietly impressed by the tactical second-ball-on-the-pitch defence."

"Might use that one against Whitby actually - stick Robbie Booth on the car park with a bag full of 'em.  Give the lad something to do, won't it?", he winked.

The game finally threatened to get a bit tasty after the final whistle when a United player shoved Michael Powell, sparking interest in a potential brawl.  Powell instead laughed off the push, unwilling to test whether Ferriby's players are as skilled thespians as those at Northwich.

In other news, rumours spilled forth from The Shay that popular former Chester hot-shot Jamie Rainford stormed out after being left out of the Halifax squad to face Guiseley.

"It was a new tactic I was trying," explained Shaymen boss Neil Aspin.  "I noticed that Chester are unbeaten this season in league games where Jamie hasn't been involved, so I thought I'd get in on some of that action."

The victory leaves Chester 11 points clear at the top of the table, but despite their team having made it six wins in a row, Chester fans will continue to try and calculate the bare minimum which their team need to do to secure promotion.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

North Ferriby United vs Chester FC - Match Swelter

Chester travel to North Ferriby tonight for a game in which it is expected that a number of players and fans will melt.

The good weather and Chester's sparkling form have transformed the usually repellant Hull area into an attractive Tuesday night destination for many Cestrians, who will prove to the Chester Exiles that you can make a midweek game which is miles away if you care enough.

Due to the climate, Neil Young - for the first time since the formation of Chester FC - will not wear a puffer jacket on the same day that CFU Media Gyroscope Jaffa Cakes dispenses with his tradtional suit.

"It's usually one or both," confirmed club historian Jazz Piano, going on to issue a warning.

"This is the first time that it has been neither has worn their garment of choice.  It's like when the moon and sun align.  You won't be able to look at them both directly, or you'll go blind."

Young is aware that today's game will be tough, mostly because it has reminded fans of the 6-0 home victory against Ferriby in which Bradley Barnes scored a goal.

"Oh, for goodness' sake, they'd just about forgotten about Bradley.  Thanks a lot," raged Young, when reminded of this.

Michael Wilde and Neil Young were both sent off against Matlock on Saturday, but will not serve their suspensions just yet.

"Misjudged it, didn't I?" coughed Wilde.  "I was hoping to swerve this one.  Midweek trek to Hull?  No ta."

North Ferriby are led by manager Billy Heath, whilst their chairman is called Les Hare.  Neil Young, who has Les Hare than most, is not underestimating his opponents.

"We might have splatted them twice already  this season, but you've still gotta act like you reckon you can lose.  It's just good etiquette," said the manager.

United have only lost once in their last six matches, however, though this is a statistic which does nothing to endear them to certain, prouder Chester fans.

"They call themselves the Villagers, for goodness' sake," moaned C Block mute Jerry Holepunch.  "Do you remember when we used to play against cities?  Now this?  A village?  We played a shipyard last year and all.  Call me when we're back in the league."

Tonight's game is the seventh in succession identified by Chester fans as the game which, if won, will all but guarantee them the title.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Matlock Town vs Chester FC - Match Yawn


Chester overcame Matlock Town 1-0 on Saturday, in a game described by many as "certainly 90 minutes”.

It was a day of unlikely goings on, as the sun showed its face mid-March, and 9ft tall Stoke forward Peter Crouch scored what is likely to be considered the goal of the season.  Meanwhile, local farmer Giles Cropcraft filed a report that four of his pigs have learnt to fly whilst the police have confirmed that there were several sightings of fish riding bicycles.

If the fans were expecting the excitement to extend itself to Causeway Lane, however, they were to be sadly disappointed.  Neither team did anything of much interest in the first half, as both managers had apparently told their teams to ensure that no-one had anything to talk about at half time.

"I ended up talking to my mate about the more serious issues in life, and it turns out that he's an awful bigot," sighed Blues fan Gerald Candlesticks.  "If Chester had managed just one shot in the first half, our friendship may have been saved."

Half time came and went, with Matlock's keeper finally kept busy as he peeled a banana in the changing room.  Within a few minutes of the restart, Michael Wilde was thrown on for the Blues and immediately set about introducing some elements of a football match to proceedings.

First, the drastically Scouse forward scored the first and only goal of the game.  Matty McGinn sent a hopeful punt into the penalty area and Wilde met the delivery - leaping like a salmon but heading like a more conventional human being – and looped the ball over the goalkeeper, into the net.

Then, with the game limping towards its conclusion, Wilde got himself sent off, picking up two yellow cards.  His second - which earnt him his marching orders in the dying minutes - was due to a late tackle, which Chester fans think he's entitled to put in because he's a legend, but that referees aren't that keen on.

Manager Neil Young reacted in the way any good manager does - by venting his frustration in a comedy rant which got a laugh from a few of the players before the referee sent him to the stands to sit on the naughty step.  Young sat down in a sulk, and his misery was compounded when he realised that he'd left an open packet of Jelly Babies on the bench.

"By the time I got them back, Gaz Powell had eaten all the red ones," sobbed Young in his post-match interview.

Referee Mikey Toot-Toot gave a lighter account of the game.

"I wrote "Young and Wilde" on the red cards page of my notebook, which is coincidentally how I describe myself on my Match.com profile," revealed the match official.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Matlock Town vs Chester FC - Match Anticipate

Chester FC will travel to Matlock tomorrow, provided someone can figure out where it is.

Matlock sit tenth in the Evo Stik Northern Premier League, having turned to football following a relatively successful run as an American legal drama between the years of 1986 and 1995.

The Blues are encouraged by news that midfielder Ashley Williams, 24,  successfully came through a game with the youth team in midweek.  Williams was given special dispensation to play in the match on the understanding that he agree to study three A Levels, drink White Lightning and labour under the delusion that he's already got all of life's answers so as to constitute a convincing under 18.

Victory against Bradford Park Avenue has left Chester in a stronger position than ever at the top of the table.  With his team five points ahead of Northwich Victoria, and with a game in hand, Neil Young knows that every point is vital at this stage.

"It's all about having the right people for the right jobs," mused the Blues Supremo.  "On the pitch, there's not a great difference in standard between us and Vics, but Youngy's a step ahead.  You've gotta have people in admin positions who know how to fill in a form, otherwise you wind up losing three points because no-one is sure whether Tom Field is English or British."

Chorley Town are now third, and are also completely irrelevant.  Hednesford, who won the FA Cup at the Exacta Stadium earlier this season, sit fourth.

Young has characterised the next two matches as "massive", indicating that whilst he himself is "mad for it", it is his players who will have to "have it large" if they want to come out of the two games having racked up another six points.

"I'm thinking of branching Merseyrail out into Manchester," explained Young, having traded his puffer for a long, dark green jacket and swaggering about with his arms swinging behind his back.

Highlights of the match will be available on http://www.mtfctv.co.uk/.  Chester fans will be able to view these highlights for free.  Just sayin'.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Blues in Brief

A Young Bull
Neil Young was left seething this morning after picking up today's edition of the Chester Chronicle.  The Blues gaffer was described in an article by writing bigwig The Tall Peacock as ‘bullish’, and appears to have misunderstood what the feathered writer was implying.

“I can’t believe the Peacock thinks I look like a bull,” grunted Young, looking for all the world as though he was about to charge.

“Just because I’m bald, stocky and get angry sometimes, it doesn’t give him the right to call me a bull.  I’d like to see a bull try and run Merseyrail – not gonna happen is it Peacock?”
-

Phone Booth (and tell him he’s back in the team)
Increasingly smooth-headed winger Robbie Booth is set to be recalled to the first team squad this weekend.  This comes following Booth’s  impressive performances in training, which have nudged manager Neil Young into sending Stefan Cox back to Fleetwood.  Cox impressed in spells during his time at Chester, and his departure has naturally prompted fans to berate Neil Young for letting him go.  He joins Bradley Barnes, Luke Holden, Michael Clarke and Adam Judge as part of a collection of competent players inexplicably remembered as world beaters.

“We’re not bothered what the fans are saying about Cox,” roared assistant Gary Jones. “Robbie has been wonderful in training recently.  He’s been fetching balls from behind the stand and even getting the gaffer a brew in the morning – top attitude.”

Booth himself is delighted with the recall, although the winger has expressed dismay at the likely demise of his vegetable patch.

“Me and Si Marples have been chipping away at the patch for the last few Saturdays - it’s a big job for just one man.  I’m not going to have the time now, but Marps has promised me some beetroot soup when those bad boys are ripe,” chirped Booth.
 -

I think I need a better drummer
As Chester fans continue to moan at themselves that they just aren't aggressive enough in their celebrations, discussions have begun about how to "improve the atmosphere" at the Exacta Stadium.  Songs have been in short supply this season, whilst even H Block have hissed 23% less bile compared to the 2010-11 campaign, according to studies conducted by the Royal Institute of Overstating the Importance of Football.

The quieter stadium is a direct result of the fact that Blues fans expect their team to win, due to their relatively large pool of resources.  This means that the atmosphere is relaxed when the team is winning, and frustrated when they are not.  With very few opposition fans to bounce off, banter is also at a premium.  All this makes sense and hasn't made the vaguest bit of difference to a team that has only lost one home game in 15 months, but is apparently unacceptable to some fans, who resent the idea that some attendees may wish to have a chat with their mates.

"Let's get a drum and bang it down the earholes of these chilled out villains," said far too many Chester fans.
-

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

All these great answers to all these great questions

In the light of the launch of Neville Southall's in-no-way-utterly-ludicrous website "ask Neville Southall", many Chester fans are seeking a similar service from their heroes.

It emerged yesterday that for his self-defined expert advice, Southall will be charging the more gullible and easily pleased members of society (aka. Everton fans) £50 per email and £99 for a one hour phonecall - an idea which certain CFC followers have described as "genius".

"I'd well pay £99 for a phonecall off Iain Howard," glowed East Stand regular Jane Earrings, overlooking the fact that for that price, she could probably get him to regrout the tiles on her kitchen floor.

Elsewhere, C Block chant-swerver Gary Blowtorch has pointed out the potential benefits to the club.

"It's all money in the coffers isn't it?  Even better, the club could get the players to provide the service voluntarily, then charge the fans for it.  You know, like they did with the Blue$ Player," he theorises.
Meanwhile, reports suggest that name-dropping CFU media stag Jaffa Cakes will be taking up the original Southall offer.

"Wait til Twitter hears about me getting an email off Nev!" exclaimed The Suited Director, which is, coincidentally, expected to be the name of the next batch of Spitting Feathers.

And it's not just the players getting involved.  Within hours of this article being published, it is expected that the Twitter hashtag #askthetallpeacock will begin trending, as Chester fans and all their friends bombard Chronicle journalist and, as of Saturday, confirmed part-time supporter, The Tall Peacock with completely inane questions about his personal life, the Chronicle building and who is the better journo out of the Hairy Porcupine and Sharks Prowling.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Player out of Focus - Michael Wilde

As close to a legend as Chester FC has managed to produce thus far, unnecessarily Scouse forward Michael Wilde has won all kind of plaudits on and off the pitch.

Overcoming a voice that is unnervingly similar to that of Steven Gerrard, Wilde scored 37 goals in his first season for the Blues, but it's his photograph tally that the striker is most proud of.

"I get in loads," boasts Wilde.  "Whilst I was injured, I was rolled out everywhere like some kind of royal envoy.  I've notched up somewhere around 64,300 photographs in my time with CFC, which means I'm in second place behind Grenville Millington, who recently broke 70k.  I'm well ahead of Gary Talbot at the moment, but he's putting in a steady shift, so I've got to keep my wits about me and make sure I keep sneaking into the background of Simmo's weekly man-of-the-match picture."

Chances on the pitch this season have been limited for Michael Wilde, following excellent performances from Matt McNeil, and a stubborn refusal from Neil Young to accept that no matter how much money he spent on Jamie Rainford, it just wasn't going to work.

"I can't believe I've lost my spot to McNeil," bemoans Wilde.  "He's like 102 years old.  There was more chance of John Danby being dropped for Grenville.  Although that almost did happen to Judgey, actually."

A fan’s favourite, Wilde's demotion to the bench has left the Harry McNally Terrace with precious little to sing about, and whilst a couple of muted attempts at "Michael Wilde, Chester's number 15... Or is it 17 today?" have been heard, the atmosphere around the Exacta has been rather tempered.

"I came up with a chant of 'Matty McNeil is a Super Seal', but I got punched in the jaw for even suggesting it," sulked a fringy teen when asked about the lack of innovation in the stands these days.  "To be fair though, it was rubbish.  I ran out of rhymes after the first line, and any chant where you wind up referencing 'the services at Keele' probably isn't going to take off."

Wilde is also a fully-fledged children's coach and regularly runs soccer schools in connection with Chester FC, where he creams fifty quid a head for teaching kids how to flatten a goalkeeper and get away with it.

"I also show them how to kick the ankles of a defender on the sly, and I've got a video of my penalty at Radcliffe so that they can see everything that can possibly go wrong with taking a spot kick," enthuses the big forward.  "Keep duking me those fifty bones, parents."

Asked about the Wilde Thing t-shirts, and matchday announcer Peg Legg's insistence on playing the classic song by The Troggs now and then, Wilde tenses up.

"I am not a 'thing', I am a human being," he says, tears appearing in his eyes.  "Also, do you know how many times I had to laugh at people referring to my newborn son as 'Wilde Child'?!  It wasn't funny the second time!"

"It was funny the first time, like.  Good pun."

Michael Wilde is available in all good retail stores.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Chester FC 3-2 Bradford Park Avenue - Match Completion

Chester took an important stride forward in their assault on the top of the league by pasting Bradford Park Avenue before letting them have some goals back so that the match didn't peter out the way it did against Buxton and Burscough.

It was a game in which the referee and his assistants weren't anywhere near as bad as you'd think reading The Hysterical Whirlpool of One-Eyed Vitriol (aka. The Devachats), whilst The Av were far better than the half time 3-0 scoreline suggested.

Scoring got underway midway through the first half, Michael Taylor rifling the ball in following the type of goalmouth scramble which has no place in a match that people have paid to watch.

Soon, it was two. Scary Alex Brown confirmed his footballing genius by cleverly falling over the ball nine times whilst managing to keep possession on the edge of the BPA area, before Marc Williams took over and welshed the ball home. Two minutes later, Williams had taffed another goal, heading home a Wes Baynes free kick.

In spite of the absence of Matty McNeil, Chester continued to hoof balls forward in the second half and manager Neil Young admitted defeat to his players, introducing Michael Wilde as a target man.
Meanwhile, Bradford were getting back into the game, the defence presenting Jamie Knowles with a free header who glanced it into the corner of the net. It was the perfect finish, but a few DevaChatters would still have you believe that Adam Judge would have saved it.

Chester's lead was then reduced to a precarious one goal, as the referee made his only notable error of the game awarding a penalty because he didn't like the look on George Horan's face.

"He had a quizzical expression, and it upset me," explained referee Petey Cards.
The penalty was saved by Matt Glennon, who is in line to succeed Michael Powell as 2012 "player most inexplicably criticised due to having replaced someone popular". The rebounded spot kick broke back to Rob O'Brien who finished.

It ended 3-2 but injuries meant that a delayed final whistle gave Merseyrail gaffer Neil Young the chance to see what it's like waiting for a train to turn up in Prescot.

"It seemed to take forever, and there was a worry we might get beaten," confirmed Young.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Chester FC vs Bradford Park Avenue - Match Preparation

Chester welcome Bradford Park Avenue to the Exacta stadium tomorrow in a game being hyped as "probably more of a spectacle than the Burscough walkover".

'The Av', as no-one is calling them, are amongst the teams that would be challenging for the title if only Chester hadn't come along and rendered the playoffs the only viable prize.  Ever-trustworthy source of information Wikipedia suggests that BPA - or 'The Av' - used to be a Rugby League outfit before switching to Association Football in "The Great Betrayal", a move which angered many fans at the time, and which still rankles with Chester CEO Pet Husky.

"I'm still hoping I can switch CFC from footy to rugby," admitted a sheepish Husky.

The clash will be Chester's first game in ten days, as the Blues' "part-time" tag begins to actually match up with reality.  Following tomorrow's encounter, the Exacta will host a mere three more games this season, with the finalĂ© likely to double up as a Christmas party.  Matty McNeil is set to miss the game due to old age, though the striker may be deployed for a half-time bucket collection following his spirited hop around the perimeter during the Burscough clash.

"We're looking to cash in on the sympathy vote," explained Jaffa Cakes, CFC Media Packet
In the media, Chronicle borderline-hero The Tall Peacock will be giving the game a miss, as he has lost his glasses.  This means that sidekick Sharks Prowling will take over Tweeting duties, resulting in speculation that the number of women in the ground will plummet as girls stay home to enjoy the sight of Prowling and his gorgeous hair popping up on their feed several times over.

"I love The Peacock for his in-depth reporting, but every now and then you want a bit of eye candy," drooled West Stand lass Hetty Irons.

"My husband's still hoping they let Caramel Lucy do it one time, but I reckon she gets paid well more than the guys, and wouldn't lower herself to that level."

With no goalkeeping cover since the departure of Adam Judge, Neil Young has literally wrapped Matt Glennon in cotton wool.

"Clichés aren't enough at this stage of the season," insisted Young.

"Adam wanted first team football, so he's gone to be second choice at Hyde.  It's left us short, so I've got Glenno swathed from head to toe - couple of cotton buds sticking out his ears too.  Safe."

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Be Prepared

Neil Young has exclusively revealed in the local media that his players “couldn’t be more physically or mentally prepared” for the title run-in - a claim which is in stark contrast to this time last year, when the players became “emotionally crippled, physically drained and a little bit teary at times”.

Blues gaffer Young has faced a challenge to keep the momentum going following the free weekend, and has utilised some revolutionary techniques in order to keep his men fit and raring to go.

“We organised a game of British Bulldogs on Tuesday. It’s great for fitness with the short, sharp bursts and it’s useful for our defenders to practice marking their man,” remarked Young.

This exercise led to momentary concern when assistant-football-manager-to-a-rail-company-manager Gary Jones went “too far”, belly flopping young Joe Ormrod into the dugout rather than using the approved technique of 'tagging'.  The midfielder was out cold for at least a minute before he thankfully regained consciousness, as Jones refused to apologise to Ormrod’s mother.

"It's a man's game," muttered the jowly assistant, as he traipsed away.

Cuddly BiG Lupus was the eventual winner of the contest.  Skilfully evading Stefan Cox, he cheekily waved back at the winger as he strutted to glory, before embarking on a celebratory lap of the Exacta Stadium.

“Coxy nearly grabbed his tail but Lupo has shown his pace and fully deserved to win,” enthused Young.

The club have booked Chester’s Lazer Quest complex for further drills, designed to ensure concentration at all times.  The management are hoping that this will help the strikers to hit the target more regularly and also provide a rush for the squad by making them feel like they are blasting the living snot out of someone with a red beam, whilst crouching on a fake bridge.

The players have also been asked to complete Sudoku puzzles with a view to keeping themselves mentally sharp.

“We do this at Merseyrail sometimes, especially if I’m pulling a nightshift and there’s not a lot going on.  It keeps Youngy on the ball. I’m hoping this will prevent us from conceding sloppy goals,” explained Young.

Reports have since emerged that the Sudoku puzzles bamboozled striker Chris Simm, who compensated by using the grids in order to play some tense rounds of noughts and crosses against himself.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Behind Enemy Felines

The Jestrian has bought a cat.  The Jestrian's Cat will infiltrate the Exacta Stadium, and bring exclusive scoops that the Jestrian cannot get its hands on by itself.  Here is his first report:

Tuesday 13th May

8AM - got to the Exacta before anyone else, so as to head off the milkman.  Pilfered a pint of semi-skimmed from in front of the Blues Bar and waited for people to show up.

9AM - Neil's here.  Turns out that he drives a car.  Not a very good message to be putting out there, given that he's an ambassador for public transport.  I have more whiskers than he does.  Victory.

10.12AM - Took a wander into Pet Husky's office.  He had no idea I was in there, as I am a master of stealth.  He had the Widnes Vikings website open on his computer, the little skive.  Reckon he still prefers the oval ball.

11.07AM - There's a meeting for the CFC volunteers tonight.  Some of the staff are having a laugh because the volunteer co-ordinator, Barrelled Ferrets, gets paid whilst those doing the work don't get nothing.  The finer points of economics escape me, as I just pay for things by killing sparrows and giving them as presents.  Harsh on the sparrows, but that's nature, yeah?

12.30PM - Had a nap under Neil's car.

2.00PM - There's no cat flaps in this stadium, which is making things tricky to be honest.  Managed to get up on my hinds to push a door open which turned out to be Jiff Bricks's office.  Found a receipt for a suit shop where he'd spent £1,000.  It seems a lot, but that was for 23 suits.  And a tie.  Stole the tie.

3.22PM - Husky still on the Widnes Vikings website.  Between you and me, I'm not sure he actually does anything Chester-related.

3.41PM - Met up with BiG Lupus round by the bins.  He's a good guy, shared some fish with me.  We had a game of Tug-O-War with Bricksy's tie, and Lupus won.  Looks good on him actually.

3.43PM - Lupus asleep, stole the tie back.

4.05PM - Contacted the Jestrian to warn that this feature is beyond ridiculous.  Concerns ignored.

4.26PM - Strolled into the dressing room.  Neil's drawing arrows and stuff on the whiteboard.  Must be tactics for the Bradford game.  Think we've signed some new players, too; midfield of Green Lane, James Street and Hooton.  Found a puffer coat discarded on the floor.  Curled up in it for a bit, and can see why he likes them.  Talk about comfort.

5.23PM - Took a ganders inside the stadium.  Husky's got the floodlights on and he's kicking a rugger ball over the goalposts.  He looks happy.

5.30PM - Left to get home to the kittens before bedtime.

Much love,

The Jestrian's Cat

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Vacancies

Your not-so-regular round-up of jobs currently available at the Exacta Stadium.

Chief Scout
Alex Hay has indicated that he fancies actually watching a Chester game some time, so we need someone to fill in.  Duties include watching the next team that Chester have to play whilst they kick lumps out of their opponents, then describing them to Youngy as "physical" in order to ensure that he refuses to play wingers when the match comes around.
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Jamie Rainford
Following a two week period in which nothing has happened, CFC are seeking a new Jamie Rainford to make things a bit interesting again.  The primary role of the successful candidate will be to divide the opinion of the fans by recklessly taking to Twitter to publish every thought they have.  All tweets must be mispelled and where possible, devoid of vowels.  Experience in naming yourself after one of the best players in the world is desirable.

All applications must be submitted to Neil Young, who will pay well over the odds for your services.
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Safety Announcement Guy
It has come to our attention that no-one actually listens to the safety announcement.  Numerous attempts have been made to fashion an announcement which people will actually pay attention to, but still the most memorable rendition is that one which was read out in such a grim tone that you'd be forgiven for thinking that the fella was actually conveying the message that the ground is already on fire, and that there's no way out.

Therefore, CFC is looking to employ a new Safety Announcement Guy, to go round each individual fan on match day and let them know what the procedure is should the ground need evacuating.  The successful candidate should possess the ability to speak a bit louder in the West Stand, as that lot are always moaning about how they can't hear the announcements.

Please forward applications to CEO The Pet Husky.  Any applications received including the question as to why Chester are the only team in the entire country to have a safety announcement will be immediately disregarded.
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Buzz Agents
To be honest, we keep bandying this word around, but no-one actually knows what it means.  The Pet Husky thinks it might be something to do with bees, so maybe if you're a bee keeper, give us a bell?

Monday, 12 March 2012

Immunised!

Chester FC has been dealt a bitter blow, after a free weekend has led to many fans being cured of "the bug".

After the new club played its first game around 18 months ago, a number of Blues supporters confessed to having caught "the bug" again - an illness which manifests itself through symptoms such as compulsively attending every Chester FC match, spending your last penny on an away kit that'll only get worn twice and singing songs about men who you could probably get to paint your house for a few quid, if you wanted.

However, recent reports indicate that some Chester fans afflicted with "the bug" have felt their symptoms ease, following a weekend off the footy.

"This Saturday, I realised that there's more to life," said D-Block regular Henry Hoover.  "I actually spent some time with the kids, and they were telling me all about their studies and stuff.  Honestly, I had no idea they even went to school."

Dr Alison Cameron of the Countess of Chester has moved to explain the sudden recoveries.

"It seems that for "the bug" to thrive, the subject must be continually exposed to football," said Head of Weird Diseases, Cameron.

"It is a parasite that feeds on the testosterone-fuelled environment of grown men kicking a synthetic pig's bladder about whilst other grown men snarl. If you allow it to feast, it will convince you that football actually matters, and that Michael Wilde isn't merely a good non-league footballer, but more something akin to Superman."

"If, however, you can cut off the football supply at the source, you should soon find that a functioning sense of perspective starts to form."

In related news, the club has suffered a further setback, as the free weekend has also forced CFC-addicted children to go cold turkey.

"This is a disaster, as we're always talking about the need to get the kids hooked whilst they're still young," said 'buildforthefuture' off of the DevaChats. 

"Actually, that sounds utterly abhorrent doesn't it?  Excuse me, I'm going to go and see if I can find where I left my sense of common decency."

Friday, 9 March 2012

Chester FC v Nobody - Free Weekend Preview

Chester face a step up in intensity after Wednesday night's walk in the park against Burscough with a football-free Saturday this weekend.

The Blues will stay top of the league tomorrow by doing diddly squat on a day that Neil Young has described as "not a cup final, this one."

The free weekend means that a couple of those community-type things can take place at the Exacta, and has also freed up boss Young for a trip to Crufts, where he's due to enter his Siberian Husky - affectionately named Pat Cluskey - into the Working Group Competetion.

Other club officials will be spending their day elsewhere.  With a Soul Night being staged at the Exacta tonight, it's a nailed-on certainty that The Dark Owl will spend the day tweeting links to Northern Soul songs while his wife begs him to "just take me shopping, once."

"I'll only hold her purse if I can take my iPod and listen to a bit of Billy McGregor," sulked The Owl.  "We'd better get to kick around the streets of Blacon for a bit afterwards too."

Midfielder Scary Alex Brown has confirmed that he will spend the day stepping up his recent series of terrifying pranks, and Blues legend Harry Hipflask has duly gone into hiding in response to the warnings.
"I'm not taking any risks after last time," whimpered the Coach Captain.  "He called me after 8pm.  He called me after 8pm!  He KNOWS how I feel about people doing that!"

Outside the club, but desperately looking in, Chronicle pseudo-celeb and purveyor of hipster glasses The Tall Peacock is concerned about his feelings of self-worth, as for the first Saturday in ages, Chester's fanbase won't care about his Twitter feed.

"I'm usually the man, come matchday," said a visibly troubled Peacock.  "What am I supposed to do now?  I need a massive scoop to keep people interested. How do I hack Youngy's voicemail?"

Chester return to being an actual football team next weekend when Bradford Park Avenue visit for a game set to be 2012's equivalent of last season's 1-0 win at Skelmersdale, the point at which the title was made absolutely certain.  Three points would leave the Blues far enough clear of the chasing pack to spend their remaining Saturdays participating in community activities, safe in the knowledge that there's no way they could squander such a large lead.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Chester FC 4-0 Burscough FC - Match Conclusion

Chester continued their procession to the Northern Premier League title with a comfortable four goal triumph over a desperate Burscough outfit at the Exacta Stadium last night.  A game which looked easy on paper turned out to be even easier on grass, much to the relief of CEO Pet Husky.

"We were looking for volunteers to come down and line the pitch with A4, but we couldn't find them in time - thankfully it didn't matter in the end," commented the Blues' top dog.

Manager Neil Young named an unchanged side from the weekend rumble at Frickley but suffered an early blow when leading scorer Matty McNeil suffered a serious looking injury.  Blues fans applauded the mailman as he embarked on a seemingly never-ending hop around the perimeter, risking further injury to milk the rapturous applause.  The injury to McNeil caused concern amongst the home faithful, who muttered darkly about how it could affect their deliveries on Thursday morning with the striker likely to be depot-bound for the rest of the week.

In spite of the setback, Chester took an early lead when Matty McGinn's long throw confused the Lancashire outfit into not marking Antoni Sarcevic, who promptly lashed home from close range.

Burscough rarely ventured near the Blues' area as the hosts dominated proceedings, although goalkeeper Matt Glennon was forced into action once, when a McNally Terrace steward called him over to discuss how the new South Stand clock looks a bit like the moon when lit up.

"Oh aye, yeah," chuckled Glennon.

Chester extended their advantage when Wes Baynes punted a long ball forward which, given his recent exploits, could probably have been considered an attempt on goal.  As the ball fell woefully short of its target, Christian Smith nipped in to spare Baynes's blushes and nodded the ball over the keeper to leave the league leaders pretty much out of sight.

The half time break allowed Blues fans to admire the new flag, visible in the South Stand, which proclaims Alex Brown to be a "footballing genius".  On a night when Lionel Messi was busy redefining the meaning of the term, fears were raised that Scary Alex had scare-mongered some Junior Blues into producing the glowing tribute.  Fans who had taken their seats early had noticed Brown oddly doing stretches in that corner of the ground as a collection of shaking youths nervously pinned up the flag.

"Absolutely nothing to do with me," cackled Brown, when quizzed.

Into the second half, the visitors did improve slightly but the game was put to bed when a free kick was flicked into the path of Chris Simm who made no mistake firing the ball through the legs of the goalkeeper, disappointing home fans who conceded that the three goal cushion left the game with no plausible sense of jeopardy to keep things at least marginally interesting.

The one-sided scoreline was wrapped up late on when Antoni Sarcevic displayed a sense of humour every bit as malicious as Brown's, jinking his way to within an inch of the goal line before smashing the ball at Iain Howard, who fell over in the act of netting a goal he didn't even try to score.

Despite the success, Gaffer Young was seething after the game, as his day-job employers and match sponsors for the night, Merseyrail, inexplicably voted Chris Simm as Man of the Match when Sarcevic seemed the more obvious candidate.

"What excuse am I going to give for dropping Simmo now?" roared Young to a shell-shocked post-match Legends Lounge.

"Neil's got me on litter picking at Birkenhead Central tomorrow - apparently it serves me right," groaned Merseyrail clerical assistant Gemma Tooting.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Chester FC vs Burscough FC - Match Estimation

Chester seek to strengthen their grip on the top spot this evening as bottom side Burscough FC rock up at the Exacta.

With Northwich and Hednesford starting to fall laughably short of the pace, Chester have a chance to upgrade the gap between them and second place from "chasm" to "canyon-like".

Whilst Chester are the league's leading scorers, Burscough have the worst defensive record in the division. This suggests that, provided Neil Young doesn't bring in Fernando Torres before kick off, Chester should be confident of adding a few more to their goal tally.

"We always try to dress it up and talk about not underestimating the opposition, but let's be honest - this should be a cakewalk," swaggered Blues boss Young.  "Fancy a run out myself actually.  Youngy banging in the diving headers like back in the day?  On it like a car bonnet."

In the past, Burscough FC launched the career of Lee McEvilly, for which they earnt a hefty fine and a warning over their future conduct.  They also once had Mike Marsh in charge, but he resigned when it turned out that his knees were too bad to even stand in a dugout. 

Meanwhile, recent years have proved turbulent for the Lancashire outfit.  Reprieved from relegation at the end of last season after Ilkeston Town folded, Burscough started this season playing on Skelmersdale United's pitch.

"It was nice of them to offer, but the surface is still soaked in the Skem fans' tears, after they were soundly beaten into second place by Chester last year," admitted manager Derek Goulding.

Indeed, it was at Skelmersdale's West Lancashire College Stadium during Chester's 4-1 defeat of Burscough that two momentous events occurred.  Firstly, Jamie Rainford actually scored a goal.  Secondly, the concept of the Jestrian was raised for discussion, considered, rejected as a bad idea and then a week later done anyway.

The match is Chester's last for ten days.  The Blues have a free Saturday this weekend, after some genius in the police force decided that it would be better for Chester to play Chorley in a crunch match at the end of the season.

"Not to worry," said Neil Young.  "I can always arrange a friendly against AFC Newton or someone if I need a couple of players injuring."

Is Your Business Backing the Jestrian?

The Jestrian has today launched an exciting new initiative for 2012, which is to showcase Businesses 'Backing the Jestrian!' as we continue our journey of success here in a very amateur-looking corner of the internet, and it's a very affordable way for businesses any size to show their support for The Jestrian...
  
Backing the Jestrian!
  
Silver Package - £25 plus VAT
- Your company's name deliberately misspelt in a future article
- Our Jestrian Twitter will send a tweet to nearly 230 followers, telling them that you've given us some money.  The Tall Peacock will inevitably retweet this to the 20-odd followers that he has these days, for further coverage
- Our Jestrian Facebook page - liked by OVER 50 people - will not mention you, as we only tend to link to new articles on that
- We'll let you look at an article before it goes online one time


Gold Package - £50 plus VAT
The Silver package, plus
- We'll spell your name right, and even mention what you do
- Your company logo will appear at the head of the Jestrian homepage (provided you are willing to change your logo to a badly drawn Jester)
- We won't constantly mention that your competitors provide a far superior service, even if it's true
- I'll buy you a pint of Spitting Feathers

Platinum Package - £100 plus VAT
The Gold Package, plus:
- The name of your company will be mentioned in one of those long, rambling lists we do sometimes
- A News article on ChesterFC.com won't be sponsored by your company
- Elton Welsby
- I'll buy you a pint of something that isn't Spitting Feathers
  
The Emerald Package - £100,000 minus VAT
The Platinum Package plus
- Your company will sponsor any snipe at the Blue$ Player, ensuring that you are mentioned at least ten times a week
- You get to meet The Jestrian.  Maybe.  Make it £200,000.

So, to get involved today, contact our media team by sending a letter, by Carrier Pigeon, addressed to "The Jestrian".  The pigeons know where to find me.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Born Sloppy

Blues boss Neil Young has overseen his side’s surge to the top of the league, but this hasn’t prevented the hairless scouser making numerous references to “sloppiness”.

In a clear display of affection for the word, Young has mentioned it in recent interviews with the Evening Leader, the Chester Chronicle, The Blue and White, The Cestrian, that Dee 106.3 football show they have now, the Seals Podcast, Radio Merseyside's Non-League Show, Chester Tonight, his official blog, and probably loads of other tedious media outlets determined to ensure Young is forced to repeat himself as often as humanly possible in the local press.

Despite such words as 'slack', 'careless' and 'slapdash' being readily available for use, Young has stuck bullishly to the concept of 'sloppiness' when referring to defending, missed chances, surrendering possession, a whale that washed up on Skegness beach, Jones of Flint, Lauren Laverne's command of the autocue on 10 O'Clock Live, his wife’s cooking, Elton Welsby, the splint on John Danby's finger and a recent karaoke performance of Lady in Red by Gary Powell.

Assistant manager Gary Jones was quick to leap to his master’s defence in response to recent allegations made by vocabulary enthusiasts that Young’s interviews themselves have become “sloppy”.

“To be fair to the gaffer, he’s got to do so many interviews and there just aren't enough words to use a different one each time, so he’s plumped for "sloppy". That said, he did use it in realation to Michael Powell’s quiff at training last Thursday which is a little disrespectful.  Powelly puts a lot of time and effort into his fringe and it was just a windy night, that’s all. He was inconsolable for a while, poor mite,” said Jones.

Following the Frickley match at the weekend, Young was asked whether he has stopped trying in his post-match chats.

“Listen, you all want to speak to Youngy, but you always want to know about the football, don't you?! There’s more to me than football, you know.  But nobody asks about the trains do they?  I’m good at that job too.  Hooton Railway Station looks brilliant now the bridge has been completed - ask me about that, go on,” raged a confrontational Young.

“We probably should have installed toilets on the trains by now though, bit of sloppiness on my part maybe."

Monday, 5 March 2012

Frickley Athletic 1-3 Chester FC - Match Rinkcavaged

Chester continued their march towards the title on Saturday by disposing of notorious draw-getters Frickley Athletic.

Teams such as Northwich, Hednesford and FC United of Manchester have recently suffered draws at the hands of Frickley, but Chester won.  So have that, yeah?

The game itself was an utter eyesore.  The pitch and the opponents were, as expected, set up to prevent a game of football from breaking out, and both teams resigned themselves to the long ball.

The teams went in 0-0 at the break, with the only moment of interest being when the referee ruled out a George Horan goal for no discernible reason.

"I was thinking about what to have for tea and wasn't really watching," admitted referee Benny Whistle, after the game.

The deadlock was finally broken around the hour mark, when Cool Christian Smith tapped in from the edge of the six yard box, which on that pitch constitutes a screamer.  Just for a laugh, Chester let Frickley have one straight back as Wes Baynes gave the ball away, leading to a Peter Knox goal.

"Wonder if Baynesy 'meant' that one?" grumbled ousted Liam Brownhill.

Iain Howard restored Chester's lead shortly after, with a show of skill entirely unbefitting of the occasion.  Howard was later forced to apologise to the Frickley groundsman for playing the ball on the deck.

"It ruins the pitch when they do things like that," ranted Frickley pitch guru Peter Pitchfork.   "Just take one touch then hoof it, for goodness' sake.  There was actually some grass left on the pitch after the match.  I can't be cleaning up mess like this every week."

The aerial ball was back in force ten minutes after Howard's goal, with Skipper Horan nodding home an Antoni Sarcevic cross.

"It's a risky business, heading the ball these days," explained the Blues captain.  "One false move and my nose could basically end up being a sack of splinters hanging off my face.  That's what the doctor says anyway.  I'm not sure he's that qualified to be honest."

Neil Young was happy with Chester's performance, though once again commented that the goal which his side had conceded was "sloppy".  He latterly confirmed that the reason that he uses this word so often lately is that he's only just learnt it.

"We all have our blind spots," said Young.  "I'd actually never heard the word glimpse until I was 23.  Only ever seen it written down.  Thought it was pronounced "guh-limp-see".  Pretty embarrassing.  But yeah, good show today."

Friday, 2 March 2012

Frickley Athletic vs Chester FC - Match Rinkcavage

This much!
Chester's chairman indicates how excited he is about tomorrow's game
Chester hit the road this weekend as they travel to Frickley, a cloggy team who have frustrated several top clubs this season - as well as numerous fans who just want to watch a game of footy.

"Never... again..." gasped one visibly exhausted Northwich fan, following their January draw with the Elmsall outfit.

Splendidly-named Peter Rinkcavage was the mastermind behind Frickley's gaining a point at the Exacta Stadium earlier in the season, and will be in confident mood off the back of a draw with title-chasing dullards Hednesford.

Neil Young has spoken about the need to play "ugly” against Rinkcavage’s men, fearing that the pitch will make it impossible to play football. This seems as though it must be in stark contravention of FA regulations, and it does rather force Young's hand, selection-wise.

"We'll be lining up with a couple of gargoyles in defence," explained the entirely sane Blues manager.  "I've checked the rulebook and there's no mention of carved stone grotesques, so I think this idea is a goer, so long as I can get the paperwork done in time."

“It’s a good job John Danby is injured for this one, he’s far too good looking to play in this sort of game," continued Young.  "On the other hand, Glenno's hair-do is thuggish enough for him to look as though we signed him from Easter Island, so he's ideal for this game."

Westfield Lane is overshadowed by the former colliery’s spoil tip, and this is sure to invoke the spirit of 2000 when Chester City battled to a win over Easington Colliery in the FA Cup. Club chairman The Pilsbury Dough Beard has already promised to get into the spirit of the occasion, vowing to climb on top of the stand to watch the match the way that former chairman and suspected lunatic Terry Smith famously did during the Easington Clash.

“Nobody really knows why he did it, especially as the weather was horrific that day, but if it’s good enough for Tez it’s good enough for Pils,” insisted Pilsbury, before being cut short as he tried to continue into 90s hit Good Enough, by Dodgy.

Frickley are likely to hand former Blue Ollie Ryan a start, and former Southport goalkeeper Steve Dickinson will line up in goal. Chester fans may remember Dickinson from his Southport days when he used to laugh at people on the Harry Mac who needlessly abused him.  Dickinson would often end up gaining the admiration of the home crowd for the good spirits in which he took the banter, joining Forest Green's Steve Perrin as the only other Conference goalkeeper with a functioning personality that season.

Young hopes to welcome Michael Wilde back to the squad and, other than the long term casualties, has almost a full squad to pick from. Stefan Cox has had his loan spell at the club extended, but will more than likely drop to the bench as the Blues manager regularly suffers from well-known psychological condition "Winger Jitters" when travelling to a notoriously difficult away ground.

“I’ll never forgot seeing Mark Peers completely consumed by a pitch once. I just saw some arms waving near the opposite touchline as the pitch had actually eaten his legs and their lads were treading all over him. Not a day for Coxy,” warned a haunted Young.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Blues in Brief

Clocking Off
Blues players have had a wager on who can ruin the new South Stand Clock first, with an alternative version of the cross bar challenge rounding off a recent training session. Michael Taylor and John Danby came closest with efforts whistling just past the clock, whilst Joe Ormrod actually hit the crossbar by virtue of not having enough power in his little legs to kick the ball high enough to trouble the clock.

Christian Smith grossly overhit his attempt, the ball hurtling into the forbidden green areas near the car park.  Neil Young barked at the ice cool customer, ordering him to go and retrieve it. However, Smith was visibly disturbed by an Alex Brown tale of predatory animals that roam this area, including some particularly unruly cougars, and instead sent brave Robbie Booth, who hasn’t been spotted since.

Former Players Appreciation Society
Since the departure of Adam Judge, the Former Players Association has reported a boost in interest from fans, rather than actual former players.

Former Players guru Gary Talbot revealed that many fans have been in contact, stating their preference of former players such as Bradley Barnes, Luke Holden and now Adam Judge.

“I think they are missing the point,” despaired Talbot.

 “This isn’t a club for people to get starry eyed about Brad’s volley at Ossett and get delusional about the abilities of Luke and Adam just because Youngy was a bit ruthless with them. This society is for, erm, meeting up sometimes to talk about the cup game against Villa or going to some of those Really Old Chester Fans With The Blues meetings. Oh, and we often have pictures on the pitch before the game as well.   Need a bottle of wine presenting to the Man Of The Match?  Page me.”

From deep and meaningful
Wes Baynes has confirmed to Chronicle scribe The Tall Peacock that his forty yard wonder goal against Buxton was entirely intentional.  In one of The Peacock's classic "obviously he's going to say that" articles, Baynes revealed that it wasn't just an aimless hoof and that he does have some talent so give him some credit, for crying out loud.

"Am I going to have to justify myself every time I do something a bit good?" grumbled the full back.  "You guys want to watch the Premier League - you'd be questioning everything."

Baynes went on to explain that he had granted the Chronicle this exclusive as had it gone on the official website, the claim would have been hidden behind an advert for a ringtone or soap or something.

Reports that the interview turned sour after The Peacock asked Baynes whether his attempt at festively liquidising a Northwich player on Boxing Day was also deliberate, are unconfirmed.